New AC Milan signing Charles De Ketelaere has said that he really wanted to come to AC Milan and revealed how proud he is to be a part of the squad.
Speaking to Milan TV (via Milan News) on his first official media duties since joining the club, the Belgian said that he never believed he would be playing for a club such as Milan.
“Becoming a footballer is something you can only imagine. I have always dreamed of being one, but I would never have believed I could play for a club like AC Milan. Today this is a reality and I’m very proud,” he said.
The negotiation with Club Brugge for De Ketelaere was very long and drawn out. At one stage, it seemed that the Rossoneri could walk away from the deal.
De Ketelaere explained how his discussions with Paolo Maldini and Frederic Massara were key to making him stick with the move and stay patient.
“I spoke to Ricky [Massara] and Paolo [Maldini], they told me they believed in me and wanted me at AC Milan,” the 21-year-old said.
“I had talks with them and my agents had been in contact with them since the beginning of the year. When the market starts there is always some confusion.
“Then I had the chance to speak with the Milan directors and the coach. I really wanted to come to AC Milan, it took some time but now I’m happy”.
De Ketelaere was greeted by the Milan fans when he arrived in the city on Monday night and he said that he barely knew what to do with himself in that moment.
“I’m usually a very calm person but in this period I didn’t really know what was going to happen,” he said.
“Everyone says that, but you can’t understand it until you’re here or you feel it or you see the fans. This club has a special warmth, there is a lot of passion and they transmit it all.”
On his relationship with his family
“I share everything with my family, I didn’t need to explain many things to them because they know what’s going on in my life. They are happy for me and follow me in what I want for me. They have never told me what to do and what not to do, they let me do it and they are happy for me”.
On his own characteristics
“On the pitch I am a very offensive player. I like to start and finish the action by moving accordingly. I tend to get down and receive the ball, look for the last pass and score as an attacker. I also work hard in the non-possession phase but I prefer to have the ball between my feet. Off the pitch I am a person who lives my life together with my family. I do normal things that make me happy.”
On the relationship with Saelemaekers
“Alexis explained to me what kind of club Milan is and I haven’t spoken to Divock yet. In the national team Alexis told me many good things like the passion of the fans. I congratulated him when he won the Scudetto, we talked a little.”
On the history of the club
“It’s difficult to talk about Milan’s history. There have been so many champions like Ronaldinho, Paolo [Maldini], Kaka, but also the Dutch like Gullit, Van Basten.”
On his idol
“My idol since I was a child is Cristiano Ronaldo, but AC Milan also had incredible champions. As a boy I watched a lot of their videos, it was a fantastic team and it is still a fantastic team now.”
His goals for the season
“I hope to help Milan return to the great successes of the past. The club’s goals are my goals for the coming seasons.”
Last season’s Milan
“I saw some matches but not all of them. For example the Derby, which I never miss. Alexis plays for Milan and I have always been interested in the results and the league table. I’m happy to play for the club that just won the Scudetto.”
“With Italy, I love the food, the pasta and everything. The weather is nice too, but it’s not that important. Italians are always passionate, we saw that at the European Championships. There is great warmth among the fans of every team, the national team and Milan. What I love about football is the passion and what I want more than anything else is to have fun and play good football.”
“I’ve had the number 90 since I was a kid, it was assigned to me. I was given that number and I started playing well, so I haven’t left it since.”
Promise to Milan fans
“I promise to always give my best in every match and every time I wear this jersey. I hope to win trophies. The only thing I can promise is that I will give my all.”